Many believe that their illnesses - heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety - are predestined due to their genes. Although this is somewhat true, it is not the whole story. Genes are history, not destiny. They alone do not dictate health. Many genes can be turned on or off. They are regulated by nutrition, exercise, environment, stress and other variables.
What is genomics?
Genomics, the branch of science that looks at the structure and function of genes, can determine health benefits and disease risks for each person. Genomics can pick out the small changes, or “single nucleotide polymorphisms” in the DNA. These are the “variants” that make us all unique. They are not mutations. Mutations are large genetic events that cause genetic illnesses. Examples of these are Down’s syndrome or Huntington’s Chorea. Variants determine risk for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke and more. They also point out the metabolic pathways that increase or reduce the risk of disease.
Do genomics diagnose disease?
Carrying a certain gene variant does not automatically lead to a disease or a health benefit. It is possible that this gene will never be turned on or “expressed.” For example, Apo E4 is a genetic variant that increases the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). But not all Apo E4 carriers will get AD. With proper lifestyle, and supplements, it is possible to reduce the risk of AD.
Are all genomics products similar?
There are several “direct to consumer” products on the market. Although they can give some information, they don’t give the whole story since they do not know a person’s medical conditions, lifestyle or environment. Genes need to be assessed in the context of a person’s medical history, family history, lifestyle, nutritional profile and current medical issues. As mentioned, genes are not destiny and they do not provide a diagnosis. A diagnosis along with an effective and personalized treatment plan can only be provided by a physician who knows all aspects of a person’s health and wellbeing.
How can genomics be used to improve health?
A physician can combine the information from your genes along with your entire health history to determine the best options to achieve optimum wellness. Genomics is a clinical support tool that, when used properly, can reduce or treat disease and increase health benefits.
Using advanced analytics of IntellxxDNA™ along with an integrative approach a physician can understand how your genes function. This information determines the health benefits and risks that are unique to your genetic profile. The Physician will create personalized intervention strategies to help you achieve optimal wellness with a comprehensive package of services.
Dr. Vivian Kominos, is board certified in Integrative Medicine and Cardiology and is now pleased to offer genomics-based counseling and care. 732 395-3059. To schedule an integrative medicine consultation and learn to learn more, contact Dr. Vivian Kominos, at 732.395.3059.
This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine Monmouth Ocean edition. Click here to subscribe, thanks :)